Tennis

/ News

  • ATP Tour

Haas spans 30-year gap with Djokovic shock

ESPN staff
March 26, 2013 « Gerrard rues second half demise | Chartbeat test »
Tommy Haas rolled back the years to beat Novak Djokovic © AP
Enlarge

Tommy Haas became the oldest man in 30 years to topple a world No. 1 when sending Novak Djokovic crashing out of the Sony Open in Miami.

Eight days shy of his 35th birthday, tour veteran Haas defeated three-time champion Djokovic 6-2 6-4. The upset snapped Djokovic's 14-match winning streak at Key Biscayne and denies him the chance of a third consecutive win in the event.

The top-ranked Djokovic has lost two of his past four matches after winning 22 in a row, including the Australian Open for his sixth Grand Slam title.

Haas improved to 2-14 against No. 1-ranked players. His only other win came against Andre Agassi in 1999.

The oldest player in the top 50, Haas is making his 13th appearance at Key Biscayne and advanced to the tournament's quarter-finals for the first time. His opponent on Wednesday will be Gilles Simon who beat Janko Tipsarevic 5-7 6-2 6-2.

With temperatures in the 50s for the final match of the night, Djokovic appeared out of sorts from the start. During his second service game he became annoyed at fans shouting as he was about to serve.

Djokovic hit consecutive forehand errors to lose serve and fall behind 3-2, the start of a stretch where Haas won six consecutive games. The German hit three spectacular winners to break again for a 5-2 lead, and Djokovic double-faulted to lose serve once more in the opening game of the second set.

Djokovic broke for the only time to reach 3-3 but lost his serve again. Haas closed out the victory with a forehand winner, then shared a warm exchange at the net with a gracious Djokovic, who gave the crowd a wave as he left the court.

Haas played patiently from the baseline, mixing the pace of his shots to win a succession of long rallies, and he repeatedly whacked winners when Djokovic tried to force the issue by coming forward.

Earlier in the day, there was a comfortable victory for third seed David Ferrer against 13th seed Kei Nishikori.

Nishikori made Ferrer work in the opening set but was quickly worn down by the Spaniard's limitless energy - as Ferrer took less than 90 minutes to complete a 6-4 6-2 win.

Tomas Berdych also progressed, the Czech demolishing home favourite Sam Querrey in a 6-1 6-1 win for the fourth seed.

There was also a win for Frenchman Richard Gasquet, although he needed a third set tiebreak to come from behind to defeat Nicolas Almagro.

The Spanish 10th seed won the opening set in a tiebreak but could not repeat the feat at the death, as Gasquet held his nerve to secure a 6-7(3) 7-5 7-6(3) triumph.

Finally, Jurgen Melzer ensured another defeat for a Spaniard, as Albert Ramos went down 2-6 6-3 6-3.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Close